C6-C12 alcohol ethoxylate, also called 1-ethoxyhexane, is a substance derived from palm kernel or coconut oil.[1,2]
C6-C12 alcohol ethoxylate is a surfactant that breaks the surface tension of water, allowing things to become clean. It can be found in dozens of personal care products such as shampoo, sunscreen, conditioner, toner, and other products.[3,4,5]
Commercial alcohol ethoxylate is a mixture of several homologues of varying carbon chain length and degree of ethoxylation. Homologues that are not ethoxylated are also called aliphatic alcohols or simply fatty alcohols. Primary alcohol ethoxylates are made via ethoxylation of primary alcohols with ethylene oxide, using base catalyzed reaction with potassium or sodium hydroxide. Neutralization with an acid such as acetic or phosphoric acid then occurs. Most commercial alcohol ethoxylates are made and delivered as solids, pastes or solutions.
We use C6-C12 alcohol ethoxylate as an alternative to ammonia, petroleum distillates and propellants. The FDA has deemed the ingredient Generally Regarded as Safe for use in sanitizing solutions. It has the unique ability to clean a surface and then evaporate without leaving a residue (especially helpful when cleaning glass, stainless steel and similar surfaces). Ethoxylated alcohols such as C6-C12 alcohol ethoxylate are not the same as ethoxylated sulfates such as sodium laureth sulfate, which carry risk of 1,4 dioxane contamination. The EPA and the National Center for Biotechnology Information have deemed 1,4 dioxane a likely carcinogen.[9,10] Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care quality standards.[11,12]